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Your Trusted Employment Partner!

Helping law firms and corporate legal departments in the Washington, DC metropolitan area overcome their staffing challenges in a cost-effective and seamless manner is our ultimate goal. Legal E provides outstanding legal staffing solutions by offering the highest degree of professionalism, integrity and talent-driven human capital. For job seekers, Legal E offers the guidance of our expert team of recruiters and access to the area's top legal jobs through our online Career Portal. No matter what your employment needs are, Legal E is ready at a moment's notice to provide the solution!

Recent Publications

Recent Publications

Staff Professional Development

Staff Professional Development

4/21/2017 12:00:00 AM EDT
6 months ago

With rising attention centered on staff engagement and effectiveness regarding advancing business demands, Staff Professional Development is a trending topic and sought-after solution throughout professional services industries.  Recently, Brett Dengate and Jeanette Derby of Legal E Employment Partners, addressed the Association of Legal Administrators Northern Virginia Chapter regarding this current and very popular topic.

To demonstrate, Brett conducted an abridged version of his Mastering Your Time course which was extremely well received and offered practical strategies to successfully prioritize workplace tasks and deadlines.  In this 30-minute presentation, participants were exposed to easy-to-follow techniques to initiate and maintain control over busy schedules and to acquire useful methods to achieve goals, enhance work products, and exceed mounting expectations in the do-more-with-less attitudes of today’s ever-changing workplace.

Jeanette followed with a presentation exploring the vast benefits of skills enhancement initiatives as well as tips for developing and executing a purposeful Staff Professional Development program to energize and empower support staff with the necessary skills and confidence to meet contemporary work demands.

Uncovering the many facets of this topic, Jeanette first reviewed the effects surrounding ongoing economic modifications as well as influences on hiring, developing and retaining staff within law firms today.  Recent survey statistics revealed deficiencies in staff engagement and the need to boost commitment and increase overall staff contribution.  Staff Professional Development programs are thought to have a significant impact on many areas to include improving morale and attracting higher quality staff.   Also discussed were the many less obvious yet equally advantageous benefits as listed below: 

  • Aligns staff goals with evolving organizational strategies
  • Supports individual performance management platforms
  • Offers customized support for departments/practices
  • Fosters skills enhancement and actionable feedback
  • Optimizes staff contribution & engagement
  • Nurtures successful launch of operational initiatives
  • Emphasizes performance and development as a top priority
  • Drives innovation and encourages supplemental expertise
  • Recognizes talent/cultivates potential internal promotions
  • Identifies disengaged employees and the potential cause
  • Encourages self-reliance and motivates infinite learning
  • Offers new challenges to attract and retain top talent

As the legal industry becomes more competitive, firms strive to attract and retain top talent with advanced technical aptitude and the ability to accommodate multiple tasks with ever-changing priorities, while being retrained to “share” and expand responsibilities.  The Staff Professional Development movement is thought to be a retention strategy emerging from the teaming concept and it takes traditional training to new heights.  Jeanette detailed how many firms are structuring such programs and revamping their mentoring platforms to compensate for the increasing use of entry-level candidates in a wider variety of administrative roles.  In today’s work environment, it has become a common belief that when firms invest in talent, they optimize the work capacity of staff members while boosting loyalty and morale to create a winning formula.

For more information, please contact:
Jeanette Derby, President
Legal E Employment Partners

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Recruiting Law Firm Management and Staff

Recruiting Law Firm Management and Staff

3/24/2017 12:00:00 AM EDT
6 months ago

Criteria Shifts as Market Surges

By Jeanette Derby | 03.24.2017

As advancements in technology and increased globalization force accelerated change, law firms are reevaluating and restructuring their internal processes and operations at a rapid pace.  This dynamic has a tremendous effect on legal professionals as firms amend their traditional roles for “new and improved” versions of support staff.  This new legal landscape is also altering how buyers of legal services utilize attorneys under alternative fee arrangements.  Yet, with all of these changes, succession planning for executive leadership remains elusive as impending retirements and the reinvention of administrative management roles take hold.  

Historically, law firm executives gained their management status as a result of hard work and dedication, earning a steady upward progression in title, responsibility and pay within the firm.  Today, the paradigms for management structures are shifting and shaping new talent criteria.  As law firms began to adopt corporate management structures to include C-levels within headquarter offices, these upper management decision-makers were becoming strikingly influential, especially in the recruiting of other management professionals.  It is no longer uncommon for firms to strategically seek top-level management candidates without prior legal experience.  In many cases, advanced degrees, not law firm experience, are the absolute requirement.  In addition, many high-level management functions in branch offices are being eliminated or restructured to mid- level management in an effort to decrease the overall responsibility and autonomy of the branch office. 

To further re-shape the long-standing archetype, many law firms have reassigned all of their recruitment functions to a centralized location -- most typically to the HQ.  While there is practicality associated with consolidation, the centralization (and systematization) of recruiting removes the personal feel for the candidates and, with it, the value-added services offered by local, market-specific agencies who understand current salaries, candidate supply, and hiring trends.  Adding to the inherent challenges of remote recruiting, the employment market in many regions has rebounded significantly.  As a result, swift processing of candidates and intense relationship nurturing to identify and entice top talent is the name of the game.  Firms interested in securing the best candidates should focus efforts on building relationships with local recruiters.

As organizations move toward hiring initiatives focused on competencies versus traditional work history, veteran industry recruiters possess a unique vantage point and insight into the overall streamlining of legal roles and, most especially, with regard to upper management.  With law firm executive roles transitioning, it is a critical time to examine short and long-term needs and recognize that management shifts can greatly impact culture and reputation – notably in the areas of employee engagement, morale and talent attraction. 

Firms striving to ensure superior effectiveness and organizational stability should embrace all resources available in order to attract, recruit and retain thriving professionals in this extremely competitive market.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR                                

Jeanette Derby has specialized in legal staffing for over 3 decades and is a distinguished business leader in the Greater Washington, DC Area.  While responsible for five successful start-up ventures, Jeanette has dedicated her career to finding successful connections between job seekers and hiring managers!

Find her on LinkedIn: Jeanette Derby

Legal E’s Mission: Then and Now

Legal E’s Mission: Then and Now

1/26/2017 12:00:00 AM EST
8 months ago

Legal E’s Mission: Then and Now

By Jeanette Derby | 01.19.2017

January is an ideal time to reflect on past achievements, set goals for the coming year and essentially reexamine your Company’s mission.  Successes are often more easily identified upon reflection and are ultimately a huge motivator.  For Legal E Employment Partners, being honored by LegalTimes Best of DC for its staffing and placement contributions to the local legal industry for five consecutive years is a terrific incentive to strive even higher.  True to this distinction, the Legal E associates work tirelessly toward a strong commitment to excellence and are best known for their consultative partnership-building, forward-thinking measures, and focus on orchestrating positive results rather than revenues. 

While serving law firms and corporate legal departments as they vie for top talent, our team has seen the staffing industry struggle with administrative and economic challenges in response to recent employment regulations.  For Legal E, our dedication to risk-adverse processes only heightens our resolve and reinforces our commitment to providing the utmost due diligence throughout the candidate placement process.  We have seen that more and more legal hiring managers are now requiring absolute transparency to avoid any consequences of co-employment issues or implications.  We encourage all hiring managers to devote time to personally know their service providers; understand their due diligence and compliance practices; and inquire about background check policies -- including adverse actions. We also recommend that hiring managers thoroughly read contracts carefully before signing and require documentation as needed (e.g. wage theft forms, business licenses, insurance certificates, etc.).  

Responding to the recent legislative actions were not the only hiring challenges in 2016 for law firms.  Legal support roles shifted greatly due to advancements in technology and the continued offering of alternative fee arrangements to attract clients.  As firms began to pursue candidates with more varied professional backgrounds, Legal E had anticipated this trend several years prior and offered several promotional programs to attract and support the creative placement of non-traditional candidates as well as highly experienced legal professionals in cost-effective and seamless ways.  To further the innovative support, Legal E presents Staff Professional Development Training courses delivered on-site by an eight-year training veteran with outstanding reviews and exceptional results.

Legal E’s enduring business model offers contract/temporary staffing and direct hire placement of all legal personnel: administrative, technical, paralegal, attorney, and management. We remain steadfast in our mission to provide systems integrity, innovative staffing solutions and positive results.  Moreover, as the industry continues to evolve, we proactively offer insight on hiring trends and advocate for process transparency to ensure the best possible staffing partnerships for our clients.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR                                

Jeanette Derby has specialized in legal staffing for over 3 decades and is a distinguished business leader in the Greater Washington, DC Area.  While responsible for five successful start-up ventures, Jeanette has dedicated her career to finding successful connections between job seekers and hiring managers!

Find her on LinkedIn: Jeanette Derby


Legal E Voted “Best of” for Fifth Consecutive Year

Legal E Voted “Best of” for Fifth Consecutive Year

12/9/2016 12:00:00 AM EST
10 months ago

Washington, D.C., December 9, 2016 - Legal E Employment Partners, a leading legal staffing provider in the Washington Metropolitan Area, is proud to announce that, for the fifth running year, the company has been recognized as DC’s Best Legal & Litigation Support Staffing Firm and Best DC Based Legal Recruiter by the "Best of LegalTimes" Reader’s Ranking Survey. 

“For Legal E to be recognized by LegalTimes readers for its staffing and placement contributions is truly an honor and a terrific incentive to strive even higher,” states Jeanette Derby, President of Legal E.  “True to this distinction, the Legal E associates work tirelessly with a strong commitment toward excellence and are best known for their consultative partnership-building, forward-thinking measures, and focus on orchestrating positive results.  On behalf of the entire Legal E team, we are deeply honored and extremely thankful to our loyal client base and business partners who voted to recognize our unbridled dedication and endless passion to support strategically successful hiring for the DC area legal community.” 

The "Best of LegalTimes" Reader’s Ranking Survey is conducted annually and includes approximately 2,000 Washington, DC area readers who cast votes for their favorite vendors in 70 categories.  In addition to winning honors for "Best Legal & Litigation Support Staffing" found on page 39, Legal E is also recognized as one of the “Best DC Based Legal Recruiters” which is also found on page 39 of the LegalTimes Reader's Rankings insert of the NLJ’s December 5, 2016 issue.  Other categories in the survey will include: Best E-Discovery Consultant, Best Time and Billing Software, Best Telecommunications Provider, Best Court Reporting Service, Best Document Management Provider, Best Legal Marketing & Branding Service, Best PR Firm, etc.  To view the entire list of results, please go to

About Legal E:

Founded in 2003, Legal E is recognized as DC's most awarded legal employment service providers.  As a certified Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) business, Legal E is dedicated to providing area law firms, corporations and non-profits with talented administrative staff, technical specialists, paralegals, litigation support, translators and attorneys for contract and direct-hire services as well as on-site staff development training classes.  To learn more about Legal E, please visit

Hiring as Co-Employers: Integrity Counts

Hiring as Co-Employers: Integrity Counts

4/1/2016 12:00:00 AM EDT
1 years ago

CLIENT ALERT - Regulation Round-Up, Part 2

Legal E is committed to exercising the highest degree of lawful and responsible methods during the candidate hiring process. Our process is designed to enhance mutually beneficial partnerships with our clients that include maintaining fully compliant practices and systems to substantiate co-employment safeguards. Legal E's rigorous due diligence and vetting of all candidates ensures proper and legally-sound measures throughout the application, onboarding, and termination processes. These measures demonstrate our commitment to strict guidelines and integrity and instill the highest degree of confidence and assurance in our valued clientele.

The following list provides a synopsis of what every firm needs to be looking out for and adhering to. Legal E always strives to protect its clients from unnecessary liabilities. We are your trusted partner for innovative staffing solutions and regulatory compliance.

1. "Ban the Box"

To comply with the Fair Criminal Record Screening Act of 2014, also known as, "Ban the Box," Legal E has removed any inquiries concerning an applicant's criminal history from its job applications and proactively provides background disclosure statements and copies of FCRA Summary of Rights prior to the interview as legally required. We also exclude any discussions regarding past criminal activity during the initial interview phase and only conduct a criminal background check after extending a conditional offer of temporary employment and receiving written authorization from the candidate.

In order to ensure that hiring guidelines related to the employment of individuals with criminal records are consistent with federal, state, and local laws, Legal E encourages its clients to maintain and provide updated and detailed job descriptions which allows for properly conducted, individualized assessments of candidates when necessary. As a standard practice, Legal E adheres to all state and local requirements at the outset of each engagement, during our background check process, and when considering or taking adverse actions against applicants or employees based on criminal history. All members of the Legal E staff have been trained on the appropriate procedures regarding criminal history as it pertains to hiring and separation.

2. Safe and Sick Leave Act

To address DC's Accrued Safe and Sick Leave Act of 2008, all temporary employees on Legal E's payroll are informed of their accrual of SSLA leave (which was retroactive to February 22, 2014 per the required legislation). As the statute dictates, proper notices and posters regarding employee rights are visibly present in all candidate interviewing areas.

3. Wage Theft Prevention

Legal E fully implemented measures to comply with DC's Amended Wage Theft Prevention Act which includes written notices to all current and newly-hired employees, as required at the time of interview and employment. All written notices reflecting the interview process and each assignment are captured and stored electronically for easy accessibility to ensure full compliance.

Also in keeping with the Wage Theft Prevention legislation, Legal E addresses "precise time worked" by utilizing a payroll processing system which delivers all fractions of time and payments and reflects actual hours worked accurately to the minute. No longer are the days when employees are paid on rounded up or down minutes within quarter fractions.

4. Transit Benefits

Legal E offers a Transit and Parking pre-tax benefit to ALL of its employees -- not just DC employees as mandated by recent legislation. With a conditional offer of employment, candidates receive pre-tax benefit information found in the Legal E Handbook, and also receive a reminder email following written employment confirmation. Participating employees have easy access to pre-tax benefit forms listed on Legal E's website. This regulation was passed approximately three years prior to take effect January 1, 2016, and is expected to be strictly enforced with all DC employers by April 1, 2016.


Legal E shares growing concerns with its co-employer clients as we have observed the vast majority of temporary employee candidates, including contract attorneys, have never been presented with or even seen a Wage Act Form in the past year. This is just one (out of many) examples of non-compliance that we see almost daily.

To address any uncertainties and/or needs for procedural models, clients are welcome to visit our Legal E offices to review our most recent policy manuals, meticulous application and onboarding processes and proactive implementation related to new and existing regulations.

We are exceptionally proud of our successful, legally-sound practices that ensure process integrity and offer the highest degree of protection for both our organization and yours. Serving as a trusted employment partner, Legal E will continue to maintain rigorous safeguards designed to enrich our value-added partnerships and provide regular updates concerning evolving legislation. 

Award News Update

LEGAL E is pleased to announce the following: